US regulators on July 24, 2015 approved AT&T’s 49 billion acquisition of satellite broadcaster DirecTV, clearing the way for a new powerhouse in broadband and video services. The Federal Communications Commission said it approved the plan, announced last year, with conditions drawn up to ensure competition and more deployment of high-speed Internet connections. Also Read - CBSE & ICSE Board Exams 2021: Top 7 Things to do For Preparation |Watch Video
Earlier this week, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler said he had circulated an order approving the mega-deal and the Justice Department said it would not block the merger. The deal merges AT&T, which offers Internet and television in parts of the US and is one of the biggest wireless carriers, with DirecTV’s more than 20 million subscribers. Also Read - CBSE Board Exam 2021: Tips to Cope Up With Stress For Children And Parents | Watch Video
That creates the largest pay TV provider in the US, but also opens up possibilities for other online services and packages.
The news comes three months after regulators blocked a massive merger plan of cable giants Comcast and Time Warner Cable, claiming it would concentrate too much market power in the market for high-speed Internet. Also Read - Telangana Schools to Reopen for Classes 6 and 8 After Nearly 11 Months
But merging AT&T and DirecTV could help competition because the telecom giant and satellite broadcaster do not have the same geographical territories as the traditional cable firms. The conditions include a “buildout” of high-speed Internet to an additional 12.Million customers, and the merged company will be required to offer discounted services for low-income consumers. The FCC also will bar the combined firm from discriminating against rival video firms such as Netflix and Hulu and abid by other aspects of the FCC’s “Open Internet” rules.
The Justice Department said this week its review found the plan “does not pose a significant risk to competition.” The deal comes amid a migration of consumers to Internet-based television services like Netflix and Hulu, with some losses in traditional cable and other pay TV subscriptions. Though the number of cable “cord cutters” has been relatively modest in recent years, analysts expect this trend to accelerate, which could have a major impact on the television industry.